• International Women's Day March 1979 reconstruction, arriving at the doors of Wollongong Art Gallery

  • International Women's Day March 1979 reconstruction, heading up Burelli Street and through the Arts Precinct of Wollongong

  • Wollongong May Day March, 1979, Crown Street Wollongong. South Coast International Women’s Day Banner reused.

    Photo Courtesy University of Wollongong Archives and Library: Nadine Clark, Michael Organ, Stephanie Drummond; Grant White Karen Illesca, Phillippa Webb

  • International Women's Day March 1979 reconstruction, 2019, Wollongong

  • South Coast Miners’ Womens’ Auxiliaries campaign against dust diseases, late 1930s.

Future Feminist Archive - LIVE! at Wollongong Art Gallery. Artists: Alison Alder, Belle Blau, Julie Freeman, Deborah Kelly, Fiona MacDonald, Wendy Murray, Ciara Phillips & Jessie Street National Women’s Library, Steve Smith — 8 March to 2 June 2019


Future Feminist Archive: Live! in Wollongong
Curated by Jo Holder & Catriona Moore

Opening
: Friday 8 March, International Women’s Day, Wollongong Art Gallery. Opening speaker Nina Southall, 1979 marcher
Exhibition runs: 8 March to 2 June, 2019

Future Feminist Archive In conversation: Wednesday 17 April, 1-2pm
Join archivist, blogger and historian Michael Organ and activist and curator Sharon Callaghan and guests for a roundtable on the future of feminist archives in the Illawarra.

Artists: Alison Alder, Belle Blau, Julie Freeman, Deborah Kelly, Fiona MacDonald, Wendy Murray, Ciara Phillips & Jessie Street National Women’s Library, Steve Smith
Print Set: Future Feminist Archive
1979 IWD March Reconstruction performers: The Femme Fatales
Poets: Isabella Luna, Kirli Saunders, Lorin Elizabeth
Archives: Sydney Trades Hall Collection, Kandos Museum, WIN TV, Wollongong Local Studies Library, University of Wollongong Archive, Wollongong Art Gallery, Private Collections

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

International Women's Day March 1979 reconstruction, arriving at the doors of Wollongong Art Gallery

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

International Women's Day March 1979 reconstruction, heading up Burelli Street and through the Arts Precinct of  Wollongong

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

(Left) 2019 South Coast International Women's Day Banner, reconstructed from the original by Steve Smith. (Right) Fiona MacDonald, 'Lobby', 2007, silk curtain, dimensions variable. (Behind) Alison Alder, When they close a pit they kill a community', 1984, silk-screen print. Photo: Bernie Fischer

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Trades Hall Collection Sydney, from The Union Of Australian Women: 'Equality Development Peace/International Women’s Day 1975', Silk-screen Poster (Donated by: Audrey Mcdonald). Australian Women Average 66% Of Male Pay, Union Of Australian Women T-towel. Collection Sydney Trades Hall. Photo: Bernie Fischer

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Union Of Australian Women Peace Table, apron and hand-printed sign. Collection Sydney Trades Hall. Photo: Bernie Fischer

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Future Feminist Archive copy of Joyce Stevens, ‘A History of International Women’s Day in Words and Images’, IWD Press, 1985. Private collection. Photo: Bernie Fischer

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Selected Badges: Appear on T-shirts worn by marchers in the IWD 1979 March. Selections sourced from the Kandos Museum Collection (donated by Kath Butler), and the Trades Hall Collection, Sydney (14 badges donated by: Cathy Bloch, NSW Teachers Federation, Sydney and Wollongong; Audrey Mcdonald, Union of Australian Women; Peace Dove, Brass Badge, Seamen’s Union (Donated by Kondelea (known as Della) Elliott (1917–2011), who in the 1950s worked for the Waterside Workers' Federation, then Seamen's Union from 1955 to 1088. In retirement she helped establish the Jessie Streets Women's Library); Bill Pirie Collection (Sydney Trades Hall, Heritage Officer); and from a private collection in Sydney the 2 Badges: United Nations Decade for Women (1976-1985) and Equal Pay Year (1986). Photo: Bernie Fischer



Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Future Feminist Archive–Live! at Wollongong, (L) Julie Freeman, woodblock prints (C) Alison Alder, screenprints (R) Wendy Murray, screenprints.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Julie Freeman, Ghera & Kembla, 2009, woodblock print, 45.5 x 60.5 cm image/sheet

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Julie Freeman, Gulaga, 2009, woodblock print, 45.5 x 60.5 cm, image/sheet

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Alison Alder (Redback Graphix), When they close a pit they kill a community, 1984, colour screenprint on thin white wove paper, 76.0 x 50.8 cm

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Alison Alder, These are the Issues: Treaty Time, 2019. Screen print on paper, 51 x 76cm

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Alison Alder, These are the Issues: Environment, 2019. Screen print on paper, 51 x 76cm

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Wendy Murray and Dewey Tafoya (L.A. / USA), Working Poor, 2018-2019.  4 colour screen print on 100gsm litho. 120 x 70 cm. Ed of 8.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Wendy Murray, My Home Ownership has Sailed!, 2019. 3 colour screen print on 100gsm litho. 120 x 70 cm. Ed of 8.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Wendy Murray, We Will March Because!, 1 color screen print from Letraset artwork, 56 x 35.5 cm. Ed of 10.

Julie Freeman
Ghera & Kembla and Gulaga, 2009, woodblock prints on paper, 45.5 x 60.5 cm (each)
Printed at Duck Print, Port Kembla for the exhibition Pallingjang, Saltwater: Aboriginal Artists of the Illawarra & South Coast regions of New South Wales, Wollongong Art Gallery.

Julie Freeman, Gorawarl Jerrawongarla, is a senior cultural knowledge holder. Freeman’s works tell important creation narratives for the local environment, firmly placing the South Coast region within the Indigenous social and cultural framework. The prints contextualise well-known mountain landscapes of the south coast within their traditional, local Aboriginal understanding.

Alison Alder
These Are the Issues: Treaty Time and These Are the Issues: Environment, 2019, screenprints on paper, 51 x 76 cm (each)

The Miners’ Women’s Auxiliary in Wollongong has a stellar history of activism and engagement with issues facing Australia, and indeed the world. The women, meeting every quarter, would draw up a series of resolutions that they would act upon by a variety of methods. One was to right and post their ‘resolution’ to the parties involved requesting clarification or change to policy and action. The women would protest in the streets holding aloft signs and placards and hold events and stalls to raise funds for striker’s families.

One ‘resolution’ that stood out to Alder when looking through the auxiliary archives, was the Women’s Auxiliary members supporting the Guringji people in 1966 during the Wave Hill walk-off. They lobbied the Australian Governor-General and the Administrator of the Northern Territory and raised money to assist the strikers. Another ‘resolution’ was sent, by telegram, to the President of France, demanding that the French government stop atomic testing in the pacific, in support of their pacific neighbours.

These new posters of Alder’s recall the campaigns of the past using the screen-print blends and tropes of the 1980’s. They celebrate the Miners’ Women’s Auxiliary who was determined to build a progressive and fairer society but more importantly they continue the women’s work as a clarion call for action on issues facing us all today. – AA

Wendy Murray
Home Owner Ship, 2019, 6 color screen print on 90gsm litho from Letraset artwork, edition of 8, 69 x 102 cm
We Will March Because!, 2019, screenprint from Letraset artwork, edition of 10, 56 x 35.5 cm

Wendy Murray contributes to the growing field of contemporary art practice that fights against the erosion of civic and human rights. In the poster Broke, inspired by the protest scene in Wollongong and the Jobs for Women Movement (see the film Radical Wollongong, by Art Resistance, 2016), the heroine valiantly waves a small flag: a heraldic gesture for rebellious times. These recent silkscreens use typeset and Letraset to address the influence of corporate concerns on public space: a process that has locked a generation out of housing and honed a language to sell this alienation.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Fiona MacDonald, Surface Tension - IWD March 1979, 2019. Watercolour drawings on 300gsm paper. 9 in set, framed. Size: 530 x710mm. Photo credit: Mike Oakey

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Fiona MacDonald, Surface Tension - IWD March 1979, 2019. Watercolour drawings on 300gsm paper. 9 in set, framed. Size: 530 x710mm. Photo credit: Mike Oakey

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Future Feminist Archive–Live! at Wollongong, (L) Belle Blau, paintings (R) Fiona MacDonald, watercolours.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Belle Blau, Together/Apart, 2018, acylic on canvas, 55 x 42 cm (each)

Belle Blau
Merge, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 41 x 31 cm
Together/Apart, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 55 x 42 cm (each)
The New Old Flag, 2019, acrylic and pencil on paper, 81.5 x 51 cm
The New Old Flag source images: Historical feminist logos as archived within Joyce Stevens, A History of International Women’s Day in Words and Images, IWD Press, 1985.

Belle Blau begins her work in writing: using poetics as the starting point for the creation of both music and paintings, language acting as source material to generate new avenues of abstraction. By allowing subjectivity and meaning to infiltrate the self-referential purity of formalism, she subverts the traditional outcomes of the genre: placing emphasis on the value of intuition and intersubjective experience over objective rationalism. Blau enacts a feminist expansion of the movement – allowing themes of intimacy, autonomy, power, social politics and love to sabotage a playing field once reserved exclusively for the impersonal.

Fiona MacDonald
Surface Tension – WIWS March 1979, 2019. Watercolour on paper, 7 in set, framed, 53 x 71 cm (each)
Lobby, 2007, silk curtain, dimensions variable
Exhibited in the foyer of the Michael Schimmel Centre for the Arts at Pace University. A component of collaboration with Ricky Subritzky: ‘Fold, Lobby, Spin’, shown across three venues in New York City in 2007, in response to international post 9/11 anti-war democracy rallies.

Leafing through back copies of Illawarra Women’s Groups newsletters in the Local History archive of Wollongong City Libraries for images, information or leads about the first International Women’s Day March Wollongong, I found an article in She Waves (Feb/Mar issue 2004). This was a special IWD issue and it carried a photo of that first march in 1979. It was originally published in the Illawarra Mercury to illustrate a derisory article about the march by the columnist ‘Ichabod’. When googled, Ichabod turns out to be an Old Testament name meaning ‘no glory’. It was also used by Washington Irving for the main character in his short story ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ (1920). The photo was used twice by Ichabod, but there had been more negatives on the roll. Luck has it that the Illawarra Mercury photographic negative archive is held by Wollongong City Libraries–so soon I had the negatives to inspect and felt like I was standing on the footpath of Crown Street, watching the crowd of marchers heading down to the Rest Park. I was so pleased to see recorded the great mix of women and men of all ages, carrying banners and placards, handing out broadsheets along the way. A week after the second column by Ichibod appeared in the paper, the Mercury issued an apology and listed all the groups that had been derided for joining Wollongong’s first International Women’s Day March. – F.M.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Installation view, Future Feminist Archive–Live! at Wollongong.

Future Feminist Archive Print Set, 2016
Digital and silk screen prints. Collection Wollongong City Gallery.

Participating Artists/Researchers and Associates, Archives and Institutions:

Raquel Ormella working with the writings of Joan Kerr, Vanessa Berry, the DAAO (Design and Art Australia Online) UNSW Australia (not shown). From Left: Elvis Richardson working with Art and Australia editions 1995-2005; Louise Kate Anderson working with the life and work of Pearl Gambanyi Gibbs in association with Lynette Riley, Dubbo Local Aboriginal Land Council, Big Fag Press; 
Lynette Riley working on the life and work of Pearl Gambanyi Gibbs, Macquarie Regional Library Dubbo, Western Plains Cultural Centre Dubbo, National Centre for Cultural Competence The University of Sydney;
Country Women Artists (Northern Rivers Chapter): Maree Bracker, Jan Davis, Karla Dickens, Jenny Kitchener, Leonie Lane, Shelagh Morgan, Liz Stops – working with Lismore Regional Gallery, Southern Cross University Library Artists’ Books Collections Lismore Campus and Knitting Nanas; 
Fiona MacDonald working with Vivienne Binns’ Full Flight (1981-83), Arts OutWest archive and Charles Sturt University, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery; 
Alison Alder working with Dolly Potter Collection, University of Wollongong Archives
; Mini Graff (Wendy Murray) working with Wollongong Art Gallery, Wollongong City Library Local History Collection and Millers Point Women in Public Housing tenants group; Deborah Kelly working with Sydney Trades Hall Collection, Neale Towart archivist.

Published by The Cross Art Projects, 2016 to mark the 40th anniversary of International Women’s Year in association with the independent research group Contemporary Art and Feminism. The Future Feminist Archive Print Folio is archived with the participating archives, partners and artists as a gift. It references the work of Australian feminist print collectives from the 1970s and 1980s.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Deborah Kelly, My Sydney Summer, 2011, digital print on paper, 137.5 x 251.5 cm

Deborah Kelly
My Sydney Summer, 2011, digital print on paper, 137.5 x 251.5 cm

Deborah Kelly revives modern, anti-fascist montage traditions for her contemporary art actions. The banner My Sydney Summer began during a residency at Gallery Nova in Zagreb (curated by WHW, ‘What How and for Whom’, a feminist curatorial collective), during the time of Occupy Flower Square. Other components in the montage Occupy Sydney, Mardi Gras, the artist’s friends and a homage (also in the title) to Marie McMahon’s 1978 screenprint Keep Warm This Winter.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Installation shot, Interview with Carmelita Steinke, 1973 (film)

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Wollongong May Day March, 1979, Crown Street Wollongong. South Coast International Women’s Day Banner reused.
Photo Courtesy University of Wollongong Archives and Library: Nadine Clark, Michael Organ, Stephanie Drummond; Grant White Karen Illesca, Phillippa Webb

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

WIN TV News (Wollongong), 'First Ever International Women's Day March in Wollongong on March 8, 1979. No vision footage made.

Sydney, Artwork at The Cross Art Projects

Courtesy WIN TV and University of Wollongong Archives (PDF)

References
Mabel – Australian Feminist Newspaper, issue #2 March 1978. Published by an anonymous collective, authorised by Vera Figner. Copy courtesy Michele Fraser.
Read at https://issuu.com/snappa22/docs/mabel_no2_march_1976